questions & answers: using the japan rail pass



Hi, I am unfamiliar with the transportation system in Japan and just seem a bit overwhelmed by the different lines operated in Japan. So hopefully someone can provide some insight as to how me and my friends can travel within Japan for the cheapest =) Thanks in advance!

Our itinery is as follows: 4 nights in Tokyo, 1 night in Hakone, 4 nights in Osaka (with a day trip to Nara during our stay in Osaka). Then we leave from Osaka for another country. The following are my questions:

1) My friend said that the JR Pass is the best option available, however, given that we are in Japan for 10 days in total and the JR pass is only available for 7 days, I don't know if the overall costs will be worth it since for the remaining 3 days, we will have to pay separately.

2) Also, when I did my research on how to get to Hakone from Tokyo and to Osaka from Hakone, it appears that only a portion of the trip will be with JR pass and we still have to pay for another train separately because it is not covered by JR Pass.

3) Does the JR Pass cover the metro (i.e. subway and bus) system in Osaka and Tokyo as well?

Thanks so much in advance! I really appreciate your help!



Hi Cherry!

1.) The JR Pass is a great deal when you do long distance travel in Japan, for instance a return Tokyo - Kyoto will already pay for the 7 day JR Pass. Looking at your itinerary, I see that your travel distance is relatively limited and I think that you would be better off buying normal tickets as you travel.

2.) If you do get a JR Pass than travel up to the gateway station of Hakone is covered by the JR Pass which is called Odawara, from Odawara however local transport around the Hakone region is unfortunately not covered. You can travel directly from Odawara to Kyoto, which is fully covered by the JR Pass.

3.) The JR Pass does cover the local JR train network in Tokyo, Osaka and even around Kyoto and will get you to most places in the cities of Tokyo and Osaka, local JR Buses are also covered. Other kinds of transport such as the Tokyo Metro are run by different companies and unfortunately don't accept the JR Pass.

I hope this helps!

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